The Booth Cottage, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1913, which is in Glencoe, Illinois, could become the third of his buildings to be demolished since 2004.
The 882 square foot cottage may be tiny, but it sits on a large lot in an affluent Chicago suburb, which I passed through earlier this month. It’s a place where magnificent trees line roadsides punctuated with recently installed “period” lighting, in front of huge mansions that command eye watering amounts of money to buy. The Wall Streeet Journal reports that the Booth Cottage is under threat of demolition, and that local planning and conservation ordinances may not be enough to save it. The report observes that “People are usually surprised to learn that America’s historic buildings, no matter how significant, go unprotected unless there is a local preservation ordinance. Even those ordinances are typically toothless, since they can be overruled for reasons of ‘hardship’, a category so elastic that the inability to maximize the profit potential of your property can count.” Hardship is not easy to spot in Glencoe.
In general, Wright’s name on a property has added sufficient value to dissuade property owners from demolishing his buildings. Could the fate of the Booth Cottage signify a wider shift in values in Trump’s America?
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